NBC plays 'Game of Silence'

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 09:53 AM Written by 

game of silence

NBC's "Game of Silence" (preview tonight at 10; time slot premiere 10 p.m. Thursday, WPXI), based on a Turkish hit TV series, borrows a little from "Stand by Me" and a lot from the 2005 Fox flop "Reunion."

As serialized mysteries go, "Game" isn't terrible but some of it is preposterous enough that viewers may not want to play it again.

Read more after the jump. ...

So the show's conceit is that a group of five friends -- four guys, one girl -- were  kids in Houston in the late 1980s. They're involved in an accident and the four boys are sent to a barbarous juvenile detention facility where they face unspecified abuses (some are clearly physical; the pilot suggests some might have been sexual assault, but it's unclear).

Fast-forward to the present and they're all adults. Natural leader Jackson (David Lyons) is a corporate lawyer while the other three boys are scraping by. When one of the guys randomly encounters a former tormentor from prison, he assaults the guy and it's up to Jackson to defend him.

But because this is a thriller circa 2016, there's also conspiracies aplenty. Jackson and Jessie (Bre Blair) share a secret (maybe they killed one of the evil, abusive correctional officers?). And the juvie detention center's warden is involved in a criminal ring with one of his former charges (Carnegie Mellon grad Demetrius Grosse).

As for the preposterous elements, in 1988 Jackson jumps in a car and drives with no experience. Yes, he wrecks it, but he drives it pretty well for a long time before that. Most teens have enough trouble learning to drive.This scene does not pass the believability sniff test.

And then there's the whole hell-like juvenile detention center, which is more believable but would be still more credible if the setting was the 1950s as opposed to 1988.

Perhaps if "Game of Silence" was a one-and-done prospect with fewer obvious turns and plot holes it might merit attention. But I am conspiracy theoried-out and the prospect of a second season -- the first season ends on multiple cliffhangers -- leads me to conclude this isn't a game I'm willing to play.

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